Beyond the banister

Beyond the banister

Man and his eagerness to reach higher places, or wasn’t the Babel Tower created to reach the sky? But stairs were created before the tower. An artifact that is not as decorative as it is practical, or at least that’s what we think, because everything with more than one level would not exist without stairs and, if we look closer, we can often find architectural wonders, whose steps make them unique.

Legends, history, myths, and an endless amount of footsteps are some secrets they keep on their steps, the oldest represent an important evolution both for man and architecture.

The stairway in the Melk Abbey is one of the world’s most famous, designed by architect Jakob Prandtaauer, it is spiral-shaped and features Baroque style; through it, the library and the Hall of the Emperor can be reached. The abbey was founded in Melk, Austria in 1089, when Leopold II handed the castle to the Benedict monks from the Lambach Abbey.

Centre Pompidou, located in Paris (France), opened its doors four decades ago and was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. The museum was conceived as a large and empty container, moldable according to the needs of each event and one of its main features is the mechanic escalator that climbs on the façade. Last year it underwent remodeling, which consisted in changing its steps, the glass façade that covers it and setting up a better air conditioning system for the way up.

Livraria Lello was founded in 1869 and is located in the historical center of the city of Porto, Portugal. Under Xavier Esteves’ project, the library has become one of the most emblematic buildings of the city. The stairs in the library are also known, especially because they inspired writer J.K. Rowling for her Harry Potter saga, thanks to this fact, their fame rose and in 2018, the place greeted one million visitors.

Tiger & Turtle Magic Mountain is an artistic installation elaborated by Ulrich Genth and Heike Mutter, its design is similar to a roller coaster’s, it is 21 meters high, and it is found in Duisberg, Germany.

The Vessel is a type of monument made entirely of stairways rises in New York (United States), at the end of High Line Park since March 2019. Its design was in charge of Thomas Heatherwick, who created 154 interconnected floors with 2,500 steps, forming a total of five floors. Its shape is undefined, but some people say it resembles a beehive.

The Chand Boari is a water tank with steps, its creation dates from around year 800 A.C. under the command of King Chand from the Chahamana dynasty and it is located in the district of Abhaneri, India, across from the Harshat Mata temple. It features 3,500 steps and 13 floors, and reaches a 20-meter depth, becoming one of the country’s deepest.

The Sun Pyramid is one of the most visited and sacred places in Mexico. It is the largest pyramid in Teotihuacán and one of the largest in all of Mesoamerica. It is believed it was finished around year 200. It was covered in stucco and it is currently around 60 meters high. A sacred place visited by millions of people each year, who climb to the top to devote themselves to the cosmos and receive good energy.